COLUMN: Sofy.tv emerges as an amazing new platform for short films
Every Movie Has a Lesson has gradually become more and more of an advocate and proponent of the buried treasure that is the short film scene. I'm excited to share this report of a promising new hub named Softy.tv for audiences to experience and enjoy more from this branch of the film medium. Enjoy and learn up on this great viewing opportunity!
The year’s Cannes Film Festival will see the official launch of Sofy.tv, a short film streaming site created by Largo Films, Sofy.tv is a new platform that aims to promote greater distribution of high-quality short films worldwide. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, Largo Films is an organization enthused with a deep passion for short films. With the launch of Sofy.tv, Largo Films is excited to provide a gateway that enables shorts to be accessed by film lovers all around the world.
Sofy.tv has already made the platform available for those people wishing to beat the crowds and subscribe early. The main launch will occur in May 2018, during the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival, by which time its current catalog of shorts will have expanded considerably.
The site has already successfully acquired a number of critically acclaimed short films. Many of these films have already received awards at international film festivals over the past few years. Examples include Must Kill Karl (2017), Black Clothes (2017), and the popular Washingtonia (2014). The site is looking forward to a boost in the number of films being submitted to its catalog after its grand launch in May.
So far, Sofy.tv has gained the support of numerous companies and organizations, including Canton Vaud, VentureKick, and InnoVaud. The site’s creators believe that once the platform is officially introduced to film audiences at Cannes, these important affiliations will grow and help the site become an indispensable platform in the promotion and distribution of the short films to worldwide film audiences.
Short Films and the Cannes Film Festival
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as “an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all the credits.” These shorts are usually produced independently and financed by grants from donors or film foundations etc. Budgets are frequently low, something which forces filmmakers to use innovation and new techniques to overcome the constraints that this places upon them.
Short films require the support of organizations and festivals to help them reach audiences. There are few events that are held in such high esteem than one of the world’s most prestigious annual film events, the Cannes Film Festival. The festival has thrown its weight behind shorts in an effort to honor and celebrate the significance of this art form. To do this, Cannes awards the Short Film Palme d’Or, its highest prize to a short film at each year’s festival.
This year’s event will be the 71st Cannes Film Festival and will take place from May 8-19, 2018.
The festival has created a Cinefondation, a jury which selects the best shorts from all over the world. These films are then considered for entry into the festival’s competitions including the chance to be shortlisted for prestigious Short Film Palme d’Or. The most recent winners of this award include: Waves ’98 (2015) by Ely Dagher, Timecode (2016) by Juanjo Gimenez and A Gentle Night (2017) by Qiu Yang.
This year’s short film selection is still being finalized, but we do know that the jury will be led by Bertrand Bonello, a French filmmaker who gained his big break directing short films. Some of his most well-known shorts are the powerful Who I Am (1996) and the critically acclaimed The Adventures of James and David (2002).
The Short Film Journey after the Film Festivals
Competition is fierce because winning a short film award at the Cannes Film Festival is a great opportunity for a filmmaker to get his/her film showcased to the world. One example of just how important winning at Cannes really is can be seen with the short film Leidi, the winner of the Palme d’Or in 2014.
Since winning, the film has received invitations to be shown in over 20 festivals worldwide. According to the film’s director, Simón Mesa Soto, winning the award has created huge global interest that has left him stunned that so many people want to see his work. This has also paved the way for him to direct another short film, this time with a much bigger budget.
The screening of short films in international film festivals has proved to be an effective way of promoting these films worldwide. However, audiences still represent a small fraction of the film going public, many of whom continue to have problems getting access to these films.
It was due to this problem that Largo Films decided to create a distribution network that would help take these films from the film festival circuit into the living rooms of film lovers everywhere. Over the past year, they have worked tirelessly to create a site exclusively dedicated to showing short films.
Sofy.tv will be a powerful platform for filmmakers to get their work seen by global audiences. It will allow short filmmakers to get their films distributed, no matter what level of critical acclaim or distribution they have already received.
For audiences, Sofy.tv will provide an easier way for them to watch short films anytime and anywhere. The team behind Soft.tv hopes that this will help to drive more people to watch short films with the hope that shorts will once again become part of mainstream viewing habits.
Short films deserve to be seen. They represent a powerful yet overlooked art form which deserves more recognition. Sofy.tv will empower filmmakers and audiences to finally connect with each other in a way that helps breed new creativity and hopefully brings a new short film revolution right into our homes.